environment India Politics: agriculture diplomacy drought geopolitics resource wars
leave a comment
Dawn, a leading Pakistani newspaper, discusses the climate problem from a Pakistani perspective:
Pakistan is no stranger to being plagued by multiple crises. News headlines are usually dominated by issues like terrorism, extremism and power shortage but an even more alarming danger could affect the future of Pakistan if it is not tackled on a priority basis.
The dangerous threat we all know as climate change has been virtually left off the radar by our less than visionary leaders when it comes to issues of national priority.
Environmental degradation costs Rs 365 billion annually to Pakistan and unsafe water and sanitation costs Rs 112 alone in terms of financial damage.
A comprehensive report was first highlighted in December 2012 which shows alarming trends of climate change in Pakistan.
The report entitled ‘Climate Change in Pakistan – focused on Sindh Province’ forecast low agricultural productivity from lack of water for irrigation and erratic rainfall. Conditions in the fertile Indus delta, already facing saline water intrusion and coastal erosion, are expected to deteriorate further.
Data gathered from 56 meteorological stations show heat waves increasing from 1980 to 2009, a period marked by glacier retreats, steadily rising average temperature in the Indus delta and changes in temperature pattern in summer and winter.
Ghulam Rasul, chief meteorologist at the Pakistan Meteorological Department and the main author of the report, told dawn.com that although Pakistan’s contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions is low, it is among countries highly vulnerable to climate change.
Yes indeedy. June 6:
As global heating accelerates, Pakistan and neighboring nations will face enormous challenges in the coming decades. It is a cruel irony that those of the world’s countries which have contributed the least to planetary greenhouse emissions are the ones facing the most immediate damage from their effects, while the major sources of carbon pollution are relatively protected by lucky accidents of geography from the consequences of their actions.
Analysts predict that as water shortages intensify and agriculture becomes less predictable and productive, climate change’s strategic impact will include bitter resource wars, a catastrophic development. While morality demands that industrialized nations take immediate steps to reduce atmospheric carbon output, it’s equally imperative that the countries currently suffering the most from this human-caused destabilization strengthen their infrastructure to prepare for times of shortage and privation, while reinforcing diplomatic and cultural systems to ensure that the likely humanitarian crises can be peacefully resolved.